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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 2/9/21

He Evaded Responsibility Far Longer Than Anybody Thought Possible

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For justice to prevail, even a "chosen one" who encouraged attacks on America must be held to account

He lied to his followers for years.

He told them he was chosen by God to lead them, and that they were the only "true" believers; everybody else was okay with abortion, homosexuality, and was weak-kneed about the Bible's call for a vengeance that mandates the death penalty. He reveled, in fact, in his ability to use the death penalty.

The rightwing preachers loved him, and he showered them with attention, bending government to shower them with wealth and power. They, in turn, told their congregants that, despite his personal failings, he was The One, the reincarnation or at least the modern version of an ancient king who scripture said would come to lead their people into the Last Days when the Messiah would return.

He used race and religion as weapons, promoting scorn and hate against those unlike him and his followers. Intolerance and bigotry bound his acolytes to him.

He told his followers that all the politicians were corrupt except those who had pledged loyalty to him, and encourage them to follow a bizarre cult belief that those political leaders regularly engaged in vile acts of Satan-worshiping and perverted sexual practices.

He whipped them up into a frenzy. He used everything from sophisticated online propaganda techniques to old fashion rallies to build their loyalty to him, their willingness to fight for him, even, for some, their willingness to die for him.

He was a tall, vain man who obsessed on his own appearance, demanded absolute loyalty from his third wife, who stood by him as his evil act unfolded, and his children from her and the other wives.

He burned through much of his inherited real estate construction fortune building a small empire devoted to his cult of hero worship of himself, becoming a minor media star and an outspoken advocate for cracking down on crime and criminals.

He reveled in being their leader, their chosen one, the unique person who they believed could save their nation, their religion, and their way of life.

He never specifically told anybody to attack US landmarks in a way that was explicitly illegal; instead, he told them they had to fight, they had to be strong, and that they were the "last chance" to save a threatened way of life that mostly flourished in rural areas.

But he left it to others to plan the actual attack.

Others who lived far away, who had spent years learning the techniques and technologies of the weapons they would use, others who actually planned the effort to decapitate the government and its institutions of power with a mighty blow that would shock the world.

He surrounded himself with corrupt cronies who drew their authority and power from their close association with him, and helped fill the ranks of the government he had seized, at almost every level across the country, with people who'd sworn fealty to him.

For his followers and true believers, it seemed he was the Blessed One, the Midas touch, the man who turned everything into gold. He loved and reached out to the "poorly educated," knowing they were the least likely to understand the historic blasphemy he was committing against both their religion and the pro-democracy movement that was sweeping the nation.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle (more...)

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